Lafayette Receives October Citizen of the Month Award

GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has named Middletown resident Yvonne Lafayette as October’s Citizen of the Month Award recipient.

Lafayette was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and underwent a mastectomy on her left breast. She is now a breast cancer awareness advocate, and bravely shares her story with guests at the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an annual campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its causes, as well as prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Each October, Neuhaus recognizes a breast cancer survivor as the Citizen of the Month.

“Many of us have been affected by breast cancer in some way and Yvonne’s strength and courage is an inspiration and gives hope,” Neuhaus said. “We are grateful for the work that she does with the American Cancer Society to promote awareness about this disease. I was proud to recognize Yvonne and learn more about her story. Like Yvonne, the County is committed to raising awareness about breast cancer.”

Lafayette’s work to support breast cancer began more than two decades ago when her close friend was diagnosed. To support her, she walked with her each year at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Lafayette was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in January of 2006 after she noticed a lump in her breast during a self-examination.

Lafayette, a native of Jamaica who has lived in Orange County for 29 years, underwent a mastectomy, followed by eight cycles of chemotherapy and 32 rounds of radiation. She is now in remission, and for the last 15 years has put together her own team, Lafayette Angels, with as many as 30 participants at the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

Not only does Lafayette speak about her experience with the disease at American Cancer Society events, but she counsels many women diagnosed with the disease.

“I feel that I have helped a lot of people cope with the diagnosis and that makes me feel good,” Lafayette said. “Many people hear that they have breast cancer and are afraid that they are going to die, but that is not necessarily true. Those I’ve been able to help feel that I am the best person to talk to, because I have been there. I want to make sure that breast cancer is a topic that continues to be discussed and I appreciate that County Executive Neuhaus is recognizing my story and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

This year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk was held on Sunday, October 17th at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Individuals, companies, friends and neighbors walked. There is no fee to register, though contributions and donations are greatly appreciated. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer was held in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State COVID-19 guidelines.

Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of 2017. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information.

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